Kinesiology is an interdisciplinary field focusing on the science of human movement. Its four basic elements—biochemistry, biomechanics, motor control, and physiology—are integrated to allow kinesiologists to address a wide variety of questions. Some questions are basic: How are nerves, muscles, and joints coordinated to accomplish complex movements or what regulates the mixture of fuels oxidized at rest and during exercise? Others have applications to health: How much of what we call aging is actually dues to physical inactivity and how can physical activity be used to prevent and/or manage chronic disease and disability? Still others involve rehabilitation or exercise performance: What factors contribute to musculoskeletal injury and how can they be reversed, and what limits human performance and how can it be optimized? In recent years, the field of kinesiology has evolved toward less emphasis on sport and much stronger focus on an understanding of human movement and the role of physical activity and exercise in health and disease. To those ends, kinesiologists use tools from molecular biology, neuroscience, engineering, medicine, and computer science to work on unique problems in a diverse array of settings that include laboratories, hospitals, health and wellness centers, and field environments.
Kinesiology majors are prominent in the health and fitness industry, in health care settings such as exercise rehabilitation programs (for cardiac, pulmonary, stroke, psychiatric patients, etc.), and as consultants to business, industry, and manufacturers of sport and rehabilitative equipment. The undergraduate degree is an excellent preparation for pursuit of an advanced degree that will lead to diverse career opportunities in medicine and physical therapy, exercise and fitness occupations, in the growing biotechnology industry, particularly in areas related to cardiovascular, musculoskeletal, and metabolic health, or in research science and academia.